As it has been reported for the last two years, officials in Cuyahoga County are under investigation for fraud and corruption. Now it is the city of Cleveland which, according to a report by Chris Warren, the city's chief of regional development, has lost millions of dollars due to poor oversight of federally funded Afford-A-Home loans program. The Plain Dealer found that the program allows the city of Cleveland to provide low-income buyers with down payment loans of up to $20,000. However, nearly half of the homes that were sold between 2000 and 2007 had gone into foreclosure. The result is millions of dollars in loses for the city of Cleveland and the taxpayers. There is no investigation as to why loans were given to individuals who could not afford them. The reaction to this report is more troubling than the losses suffered. Plain Dealer reports that Chris Warren will continue his review as he determines how the Community Development department that runs the housing activities in Cleveland can become more efficient. There is no word of trying to find those who are responsible for the loss. The City Councilman, Tony Brancatelli, on the other hand, does not take this issue seriously when he said " You're not going to stop corruption, but you can put in common- sense checks and balances so you can answer basic questions." If an elected official does not fight to stop corruption, why is he even elected at all? There are other federally funded programs that are run by the city of Cleveland. What is happening to them? Do taxpayers fund these programs only to answer some basic questions? Taxpayers need more transparency and accountability. The Federal Government should check how the money is spent.
May 6, 2010